ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. GC710341RO

                                 STATE OF NEW YORK 
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                                OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK  11433


          ------------------------------------X
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE     ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.
                                                  GC710341RO
                                                  DISTRICT RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
                                                  NO. FL710090R
             ARTHUR T. MOTT,
                                   PETITIONER     Tenant: Lawrence McLeod
          ------------------------------------X

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

               On March 12, 1992, the above-named owner filed a petition for 
          administrative review of an order issued on February 6, 1992 by the 
          Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommodations known as 
          Apartment 1-C, 77 Terrace Avenue, Hempstead, New York.

               The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the 
          record and has carefully considered that portion of the record 
          relevant to the issues raised by the petition for review.

               This proceeding was commenced by the filing of a rent 
          overcharge complaint by the subject tenant, dated December 5, 1991.  
          In his complaint the subject tenant alleged, among other things, 
          that:

                    1) The subject tenant's initial lease
                       was a one-year lease commencing on
                       December 1,1990 at a monthly rent of
                       $675.00; 

                    2) The subject tenant entered into a 
                       one-year renewal lease commencing
                       on December 1, 1991 at a monthly
                       rent of $708.75, and 

                    3) The prior tenant of the subject
                       apartment filed a rent overcharge
                       complaint with the rent agency, and 
                       that the Administrator issued
                       an order reducing the prior
                       tenant's rent.














          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. GC710341RO

               To his complaint the subject tenant attached a copy of the 
          aforementioned initial lease, and a copy of an Administrator's 
          order issued on January 28, 1991, under Docket No. EG710133R, in 
          which the Administrator determined that the subject owner had 
          collected rent from the prior tenant of the subject apartment in 
          excess of the legal regulated rent.  The above-mentioned order 
          directed the subject owner to refund to the prior tenant the excess 
          rent collected in the amount of $3,016.74 which included interest 
          and excess security.  Furthermore, the above-mentioned order 
          determined that the prior tenant's legal regulated rent for the 
          lease period commencing on April 1, 1989 and expiring on March 31, 
          1990 was $477.31 per month, and the legal regulated rent for the 
          lease period commencing on April 1, 1990 and expiring on March 31, 
          1992 was $508.34 per month.

               On December 19, 1991 the Division of Housing and Community 
          Renewal (D.H.C.R.) mailed to the subject owner a copy of the 
          subject tenant's complaint, and a notice directing the subject
          owner to submit its answer and a copy of the subject tenant's lease 
          "and a copy of the lease immediately prior thereto," to the rent 
          agency within twenty days of the above-mentioned date.

               On January 13, 1992 D.H.C.R. mailed a notice to the subject 
          owner which stated as follows: 

                    Attached hereto, is a copy of a
                    complaint which our records indicate
                    was first forwarded to you on 12-19-91.

                    Please be advised that as of 1-13-92
                    we have not received a response.
                    Therefore this must be a Final Notice.
                    If we do not receive a reply within 
                    twenty (20) days of the date of this
                    notice, we will be compelled to issue
                    an Order based on the undisputed
                    evidence already in the record.

                    Such an order may subject you to the
                    penalties prescribed by the Regulations.

               The record reflects that the subject owner did not respond to 
          the above-mentioned notices.

               On February 6, 1992 the Administrator issued the order under 
          review herein, which determined that the subject tenant's legal 
          regulated rent for the initial lease period commencing on December 
          1, 1990 and expiring on November 30, 1991 was $536.19 per month. 


          (Pursuant to Section 2502.5 (c) (6) of the State Tenant Protection 
          Regulations, the subject tenant's legal regulated rent for the 






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. GC710341RO

          initial lease period was calculated based upon the legal regulated 
          rent of the last completed lease term which was $477.31 per month 
          plus a 4% Nassau County Guideline increase for a one-year lease 
          plus a vacancy factor of $39.78), and the legal regulated rent for 
          the lease period commencing on December 1,1991 and expiring on 
          November 30, 1992 was $563.00 per month (September 30, 1991 rent of 
          $536.19 per month plus a 5% Nassau County Guideline increase for a 
          one-year lease).  The Administrator's order under review herein 
          also determined that there was a rent overcharge of $6,454.66, 
          including treble damages and excess security, and the Administrator 
          directed the subject owner to refund the above-mentioned amount to 
          the subject tenant.

               In the above-mentioned order the Administrator pointed out 
          that there was no petition for administrative review of the 
          aforementioned Docket No. EG710133R, issued on January 28, 1991.

               In its petition the subject owner asserts, among other things, 
          that the complainant commenced occupancy in the subject apartment 
          prior to the issuance of the Administrator's order issued on 
          January 28, 1991, under Docket No. EG710133R; that as the above- 
          mentioned order was issued after the complainant's initial 
          occupancy of the subject apartment the subject owner states that it 
          "was unaware that the rent for the apartment would be established 
          at $477.31 for the prior tenant at the time of the complaining 
          tenant's occupancy"; that the subject owner "inadvertently 
          neglected to correct his records and reflect the new rent in the 
          complaining tenant's legal regulated rent which had already been in 
          effect for several months," and that the Administrator should not 
          have imposed treble damages as the owner did not willfully collect 
          rent in excess of the legal regulated rent.

               After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the 
          opinion that the subject owner's petition should be denied.

               The Commissioner notes that the subject owner in its petition 
          does not dispute the Administrator's determination of the 
          complainant's legal regulated rent.

               Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Administrator's 
          determination of the complainant's legal regulated rent should not 
          be disturbed.






               As noted in the Administrator's order under review herein, the 
          subject owner did not file a petition for administrative review of 
          the order issued on January 28, 1991, under Docket No. EG710133R.  
          The Commissioner finds that Docket No. EG710133R  is a final 












          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. GC710341RO

          determination of DHCR.  The Commissioner notes that the 
          Administrator in Docket No. EG710133R established the subject 
          apartment's legal regulated rent for the lease period commencing on 
          April 1, 1989 and expiring on March 31, 1990 at $477.31 per month.

               The Commissioner finds that the subject owner's assertion in 
          its petition that "there was no willfulness" in its collecting rent 
          in excess of the legal regulated rent is belied by the fact that 
          after D.H.C.R. served the subject owner with the order issued under 
          Docket No. EG7120133R, on January 28, 1991, the subject owner did 
          not reduce the complainant's rent to the legal regulated rent, and 
          it did not refund to the complainant the excess rent that was 
          collected.

               The Commissioner notes that the D.H.C.R. mailed to the subject 
          owner the complainant's overcharge complaint and the order issued 
          under Docket No. EG710133R twice, the first time was on December 
          19, 1991 and then again on January 13, 1992; the Commissioner 
          further notes that the subject owner did not respond to the above- 
          mentioned complaint, and it still did not reduce the subject 
          tenant's rent to the legal regulated rent, as calculated in the 
          aforementioned Docket No. EG710133R.

               The Commissioner finds that prior to the issuance of the 
          Administrator's order under review herein the rent agency gave 
          notice to the subject owner three separate times that it was 
          collecting rent in excess of the legal regulated rent.

               Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the collection of the 
          subject tenant's rent in excess of the legal regulated rent by the 
          subject owner was willful, and the Commissioner further finds that 
          the Administrator's order imposing treble damages in this 
          proceeding should not be disturbed.

               The owner is cautioned that rents for the period subsequent to 
          November 30, 1992 should be based upon the monthly rent of $563.00 
          for the lease period of December 1, 1991 through November 30, 1992 
          as determined by the Administrator, and that any demand for and 
          collection of an amount in excess of the lawful amount may give 
          rise to a new overcharge complaint, in which treble damages may be 
          awarded.

               THEREFORE, in accordance with the Emergency Tenant Protection 
          Act of 1974 and the State Tenant Protection Regulations, it is





               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          denied, and that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby 
          is, affirmed; and it is 






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO. GC710341RO


               FURTHER ORDERED, that rents after November 30, 1992 shall be 
          based upon the monthly rent of $563.00; and it is 

               FURTHER ORDERED, that the owner shall immediately refund to 
          the tenant all amounts not yet refunded representing overcharges, 
          penalties and treble damages; and it is 

               FURTHER ORDERED, that if the owner has refunded no such 
          amounts upon the expiration of the period for seeking judicial 
          review of this order pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice 
          Law and Rules, and the tenant has credited no such amounts, the 
          tenant may file and enforce a certified copy of this order as a 
          judgment for the amount of $6,454.66 against the owner, Arthur T. 
          Mott.

          ISSUED:




                                                                     
                                             JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                             Deputy Commissioner
                    






    

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